(Date TK – New York, NY): Tim Duggan Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House’s Crown Publishing Group, announced today the publication of THE LAST GIRL: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad. The publisher also revealed the book jacket image.
A survivor of the Islamic State-led torture and genocide of the Yazidi people, Nadia Murad has captured the world’s attention with her devastatingly powerful story and unparalleled bravery. A nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, recipient of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize and the Sakharov Prize, and the UN’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, Nadia’s advocacy as a human rights activist has given a face and a voice to the thousands who have suffered unspeakable crimes carried out by the Islamic State (IS).
Said Nadia: “Being a survivor of genocide comes with great responsibility—for I am the lucky one. Having lost my brothers, mother, and many more family members and friends, it is a responsibility I embrace fully and take very seriously. My role as an activist is not just about my suffering—it is about a collective suffering. Telling my story and reliving the horrors I encountered is no easy task, but the world must know. The world must feel a moral responsibility to act and if my story can influence world leaders to act then it must be told.”
THE LAST GIRL is a continuation of Nadia’s mission to share her heartbreaking personal tragedy with the world with the hope of stopping IS and holding them accountable for their crimes.
Publisher Tim Duggan acquired North American, electronic, audio, and first serial rights from Amanda Urban of ICM, who retains world rights. Duggan will edit THE LAST GIRL, which is scheduled for publication on October 31, 2017. The memoir will be simultaneously released in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands with rights sold in twenty additional foreign territories.
In 2014, Nadia Murad was twenty-one-years-old and aspired to be a history teacher and a salon owner. She lived with her mother, brothers, and sisters in Kocho, a small but tight-knit village in northern Iraq. She was a member of the Yazidi people, a religious minority in the region that recently had known relative peace living alongside their Christian and Muslim neighbors. That peace would be shattered, however, in August 2014 when fighters operating under the banner of IS descended upon the village.
To IS, the Yazidis were kafir, or infidels, and an easy target: They occupied a strategic portion of Iraq and were protected by no one. The people of the village were ordered by the fighters to a school where the men were separated from the women. Nadia watched as the men were loaded onto trucks and driven away from the school. Gunfire was heard soon after as the men who refused to convert to Islam—including six of Nadia’s brothers—were executed. The fighters then turned their attention to the women. They were separated by age with Nadia and the younger women, including girls as young as eleven, designated to be sold as sex slaves. The older women, Nadia’s mother among them, were killed.
Nadia was chosen by an IS fighter who, along with his fellow militants, repeatedly raped and beat her. This torture would continue for several days until, in a stroke of luck, Nadia was able to escape. She will share the details of this perilous journey to freedom for the first time in THE LAST GIRL.
Nadia was ultimately able to make her way to Germany and begin a new life. Despite the trauma she has experienced, she has made it her goal to speak out against IS. With the help of Yazda, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Yazidi survivors, and renowned barrister Amal Clooney, Nadia has spoken around the world to organizations and governmental institutions including the United Nations, urging leaders to help stop the Islamic State’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity. Her work continues.
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Tim Duggan Books is an imprint of The Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House. Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson, who own 53 percent and 47 percent, respectively. With nearly 250 independent imprints and brands on five continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital English- and Spanish-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 15,000 new titles, and close to 800 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 60 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.